Businesses are closely related with communities not only as providers of goods but also as job market creators. The timely and efficient recovery of business operations is crucial for serving the basic needs of disaster-stricken communities and the continuation of daily life activities, thus speeding up the return to “normalcy.” The majority of private business is still unaware of the possibilities, opportunities, and advantages of engaging in disaster risk reduction (DRR)-related initiatives. The current paper argues that information sharing, access to funding, adequate and easy-to-understand and to follow rules and regulations, and functioning public institutions with designated coordinating bodies need to be in place to enable this process. This study concludes that coordinated, tailored, continuous efforts by both businesses and the public sector, supported by international organizations, will be needed to tackle the complex web of disaster challenges now and in the decades to follow. The paper will focus on East and South Asia as some of the most disaster-prone regions in the world, without comparing the success rate between the individual countries. It is, instead, intended as a perspective paper, aiming to provide a broad regional overview of some of the challenges and opportunities in engaging the private sector in disaster management, and to present some high-level policy suggestions on how to better address the existing issues.
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